Arab-Israeli Book Review: “Over Here, Over There: Exploring Diaspora Identity”

Come and share in our discussion of two exciting books which explore the complex relationship between the Diaspora and the Middle East in both Jewish and Arab communities.

Ariel Kahn and Shahidha Bari co-present a discussion on Nathan Englander’s celebrated short story collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank and Hanan Al Shaykh’s novel Only in London. Both will challenge your preconceptions with wit and humour.

Ariel Kahn teaches literature and creative writing at Roehampton University, where he is also a PhD candidate working on his first novel Raising Sparks. Kahn has won the London Writing Competition and the Bloomsbury New Voices competition for his short stories. He is on the faculty of the London School of Jewish Studies teaching Prayer, Jewish Thought and Mysticism and, until 2010, taught Film Theory at the Metropolitan Film School, Ealing Film Studios. Born in Britain, Kahn spent three years studying at rabbinical colleges in Jerusalem; his first year was spent in the old city and made a lasting impression on him. Returning to read English at Cambridge University was something of a culture shock. Fascinated by the representation of non-English culture and marginalised voices in English, he went on to complete an MA in African and Indian Literature at SOAS. He lives in north London with his wife and two young children.

Shahidha Bari works in the fields of literature, philosophy and politics, with special interests in the Romantic period and the ideas of ethical subjectivity that emerge from it.  Her current research considers the legacy of the Romantic engagement with Islam and the East, through an exploration of early English translations of the Arabian Nights, nineteenth-century Islamic art and the British literature of Romantic Orientalism. Her first book, Keats and Philosophy explored the range of Keats’s poetic mediations on friendship, mortality, nature, travel and war and writes about architecture and modern art, and is a co-founder of the intellectual salon, How to Live. She is a member of the editorial board of New Formations: a journal of culture/theory/politics, and is one of ten AHRC BBC Radio 3 ‘New Generation Thinkers’ selected in 2011.


Arab – Israeli Book Club Give Away Competition

Thanks to our friends at Orion Books and Bloomsbury Publishing we have 3 pairs of “Only in London” and “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank” to give away to 3 people who submit the correct answer to the following question:

“What famous book of short stories by an American master of the genre is Englander referring to in his title?”

Please submit your answer in an email headed “Arab-Israeli Book Club Competition” to by midday on Friday 26th October.  Winners will be drawn at random and notified via email during week commencing 29th October.  For full terms and conditions see here.